Trinidad and Tobago Wild Life
Armadillo (Tatoo)-The Nine Banded Armadillo is the only species of Armadillo found in Trinidad.The Nine Banded Armadillo is the only species of Armadillo that has nine bands on its armor and this species dates back three million years. Its lifespan is 12-20 years with an average weight of 6.5 kilos and they are 127cm long on average. An Armadillo`s tail can grow to 53cm and their diet consists of worms, insects, ants, termites, small beetles, some fruits and bird eggs. Their long nose gives them the ability to smell food up to 8 inches in soil depth. if it were not for the Nine Banded Armadillo very little progress would have been made in knowing the cause of Leprosy. The animal`s low body heat makes it susceptible to Leprosy also known as Hansen`s Disease. There are 2 types of Leprosy, the more virulent type causes numerous sores to form on the skin and the milder type causes fewer sores. The disease is rarely fatal and although it may cause permanent disfigurement once treated on time usually causes less damage. Early studies have shown that the risk of human infection from contact with Nine Banded Armadillos is unlikely. However, more modern studies suggest that man an contract the disease from contact with the animal. A new study published by the New England Journal of Medicine found that in an experiment some people had contracted the disease from contact with the Armadillos. The symptoms can take years to appear and this makes it tricky to pinpoint when the disease was contracted. For a long time Armadillos have been hunted by man for food and in the United States of America it was called "Poor Man`s Pork" or "Hoover Hog" during the great depression.
The Nine Banded Armadillo was with some resistance made the small state mammal of Texas, where it is considered a pest.BATS.-There are over 70 species of Bats in Trinidad and Tobago.
- The Common Vampire Bat (Vampyrum Spectrum)
The weight of all Vampire Bats is approximately 30 grams and they are one of the most misunderstood animals on the planet due to their association with Dracula when the real truth is that the Dracula myth existed long before vampire bats were discovered.
- The White Winged Vampire Bat (Diaemus Youngi)
The saliva of Vampire Bats contain an anti-coagulant and an anesthetic which mean the sleeping animal does not feel a thing. The enzyme that prevents blood from clotting is now used to treat stroke victims and save hundreds of lives each year.
- The Great False Vampire Bat (Vampyrum Spectrum)
The False Vampire Bat is the largest bat in Trinidad and the largest carnivorous bat in the world. Photo: Merlin Tuttle (trinibirding)
- The Macconnell Bat (Mesophylla macconnelli)
cc: Dick Wilkins (Trinibats)Trinidad has more types of bats than any other country.There are 100 species of mammals in Trinidad and Tobago of which 60 are bats.The Tamana Caves, located in the Tamana Hills in Trinidad has a bat population between 500,000 to 3 million bats. In 1931 Dr Joseph Lennox Pawan, a Trinidadian medical doctor, was the first to discover that the rabies virus was transmitted by bats. It is unclear what kind of the bat influenced Bruce Wayne in becoming Batman.